Kyle Hendricks didn’t quite pull off the (shortened) shutout, but he was really solid against a very good Dodgers lineup today, and he was backed by a touchdown’s worth of Cubs offense.
Those Cubs bats jumped all over an erratic Clayton Kershaw, scoring four runs in the first inning, and giving him the shortest outing of his regular season career. That first inning was his only inning on the day.
Hendricks is not all the way there, as he was still missing his spots more than you’d like to see (and he got away with some meatballs), but the swing-and-miss execution was much better than we’ve seen. He became the first Cubs pitcher this year to pitch into the 7th inning and record an out.
Things got unnecessarily dicey in the 7th after that first out, as Hendricks gave up the solo homer to wipe out the shutout, then a single to Mookie Betts, and then Javy Báez booted a tailor-made double-play ball, and compounded his mistake by flipping the ball away with his glove – two errors on one play, adding to an error he’d made earlier in the game. It marked his first career three-error game.
Fortunately Hendricks got another double-play grounder to finish up the game. He seems to pitch well at Wrigley Field against Clayton Kershaw, eh?